26 June 2024

Fifth of cat owners ‘do not intend to get their pet microchipped’

26 June 2024

Around one in five cat owners in England have no plans to get their pet microchipped, a survey has indicated, despite a new law making it compulsory.

New rules in England mean cats must be implanted with a microchip before they reach the age of 20 weeks.

The rules came into force on June 10 and owners found not to have microchipped their pet have been given 21 days to have one implanted or face a fine of up to £500.

A Censuswide survey of cat owners in May for Direct Line Pet Insurance found 21% of those based in England did not plan to get their pet microchipped, and 16% were unaware of the new rules.

We urge cat owners who haven't yet done so to seek an appointment

More than half (58%) of cat owners in England who were surveyed did not know the maximum fine if their pet was not microchipped.

Direct Line also carried out research in May among 50 veterinary practices in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Yorkshire.

The research indicated six in 10 (60%) vets had seen an increase in appointments for cat microchipping, with nearly a quarter (24%) experiencing a significant rise.

The research showed the typical cost to have a cat microchipped is around £28.

Madeline Pike, veterinary nurse for Direct Line Pet Insurance, said: “Microchipping is a very quick and relatively painless process, no more painful than having an injection or blood test. It’s also one of the most effective and efficient methods of finding lost pets.

“We urge cat owners who haven’t yet done so to seek an appointment in the next few weeks and by July 1 at the latest. Nearly every vet we spoke to said they still have availability or could make room for anyone needing an appointment.

“The compulsory microchipping of cats will provide families with much-needed comfort and peace of mind that if their cat gets lost or strays, they can more easily be reunited with their much-loved feline friends.”

Earlier in June, charity Cats Protection said that, of the estimated nine million pet cats in England, up to 2.2 million were still not chipped.

Alice Potter, cat welfare expert at the RSPCA, said previously: “We have seen cats coming into our care who are sadly not microchipped and may never be reunited with their owners.”

Around one in five cat owners in England do not plan to get their pet microchipped, a survey has found, despite a new law making it compulsory (Nick Ansell/PA) (PA Archive)

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